Utah University Settles Free-speech Suit with Former Students

September 17, 2015

By Annie Knox at The Salt Lake Tribune

Dixie State University has settled a free-speech lawsuit from three students who were blocked from posting satirical portraits of Barack Obama, George Bush and Che Guevara on campus.

The settlement was finalized Thursday, closing the suit directed by nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

One of the plaintiffs, former Dixie student William Jergins, said he's "absolutely thrilled" by the resolution.

"We're told in every civics class since the third grade how important freedom of speech is in a democracy," Jergins said.

In May, Dixie State dropped its limits on students' free speech, including a requirement for prior approval from administrators to post fliers or hold events on campus.

The university's president, Richard Williams, could not be reached Thursday. Spokeswoman Jyl Hall issued a statement, saying the university "is grateful for the stronger speech policies that resulted from the lawsuit, but is disappointed in the way the changes came about...

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